What is Tongue Tie?
Some babies are born with a congenital anomaly known as Tongue Tie, which has the medical name Ankyloglossia.
This is where the fold of skin (lingual frenulum) under the tongue that connects to the bottom of the mouth is shorter than usual, restricting movement of the tongue. The condition may be mild, or it can be severe, where the tongue is unable to lift at all.
Has your baby got a Tongue Tie?
Tongue Tie can cause feeding difficulties, particularly with breastfeeding.
- Painful breastfeeding
- Sore and/or damaged nipples
- Issues with the mothers milk supply
- Shallow latch onto the breast
- Noisy feeding (clicking/slurping)
- Slipping off the breast regularly
- Unsettled during and unsatisfied following feeds
- Poor weight gain
- Increased weight loss (than expected)
- Excessive dribbling
- Excessive wind/hiccoughs
Me and/or my baby are suffering from some of these symptoms… What should I do?
These challenges may or may not be as a direct result of the baby having a Tongue Tie, however they would warrant further detailed assessment and inspection of the tongue by a health professional adequately trained to identify Tongue Tie.
If the health professional is unsure, a referral should be made to a more experienced professional in tongue tie assessment. Referral within the NHS may be possible, however waiting times may be lengthy which is why many families will seek the advice of a private Tongue Tie practitioner.
Some practitioners believe that if a baby with Tongue Tie has difficulty breastfeeding, surgical division of the Tongue Tie, called Frenulotomy, should be carried out as early as possible.
This may enable breastfeeding to continue rather than having to switch to artificial feeding.
See here for further information about Tongue Tie from the ATP (Association of Tongue Tie Practitioners) : https://www.tongue-tie.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ATP-Parent-Info.pdf